by Dahna Jn Charles
There I was scrolling down my Facebook newsfeed when I came across what looked like M.I.B. had caught an undercover alien mid transformation. I couldn’t help clicking on the photo to marvel at this work of art. Shortly thereafter, I thought, ‘Man, that’s a lot of black body paint, and she did this on herself just for practice? That’s going to be hard to get off her bathroom tiles.’ I almost always have the same thought every time I come across one of her creations but, most of all, I end up awestruck. Her attention to detail is impeccable. Her ability to create such lifelike looks is impressive. Allidonna George is definitely one to keep an eye on.
In her not so distant girl days, Alli played steel pan with the legendary Diamond Steel Orchestra for over a decade. It has been three years since she played pan, although it is still dear to heart, and she avidly follows the happenings at regional panorama events. Originating from Entreport, Alli is a graduate of St. Joseph’s Convent and the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College- Division of Technical Education and Management. As a child, she used to be fascinated by the stars and the many constellations and dreamed of one day becoming an astronomer. She has retained her fascination but her ambitions have since changed to painting night-sky-like images onto faces and bodies.
Back in 2012, while working as an accounts clerk, Alli started dabbling in beauty makeup, learning what she could from YouTube videos and Instagram tutorials. Her first clients were her cousin’s bridal party. Her passion for makeup soon took precedence over her accounting skills. In 2013, the company Alli was employed with closed down, leaving her jobless. To support herself financially, Alli turned her passion for makeup into a fulltime career. This self-taught artistic virtuoso subsequently became the founder of ‘Makeup With Alli’, which specialises in beauty and special effects makeup artistry.
Dazzle got Allidonna to take a break from her brushes and palettes and talk to us about her passion for makeup artistry and her growing business.
Dazzle: When did you acknowledge to yourself you were going to be a ‘makeup artist’?
Allidonna: I think people kind of did that for me… because at first it was just a trial and then I posted my work on my social network platforms and people would comment and compliment me for being such a great makeup artist and then I thought to myself, “Hmm maybe I am.”
Dazzle: What did your family and friends think when you told them you intend to take up makeup artistry as a career?
Allidonna: They thought I was crazy. At first they didn’t believe in it. “You sure? You going to be able to live off of THAT. You going to do that alone? … Why don’t you apply for a job and do this on a side?” Three years later, still going strong, they are believers (LOL). As for a support system in a true sense, I do this mostly on my own.
Dazzle: Do family and friends respect your business or are there lots of requests for freebies?
Allidonna: They do now! I make it very clear that business is business. If I want to, I may give a discount or gift it depending on the occasion but they definitely respect my work and pay me fairly.
Dazzle: What sets you apart from your competitors?
Allidonna: There are many beauty makeup artists. While I also specialise in beauty makeup application, I think what makes me standout is my special effects work.
Allidonna is a lover of fantasy fiction movies, from which she draws her special effects makeup inspiration. From colourful skeletons, to the Ice Queen, the Grinch and even werewolves, Allidonna perfects it to the ‘T’. The detailing is phenomenal; exposed flesh, blood, boils, bumps, and wrinkles. All of it will leave you amazed.
Dazzle: Does it pay to invest in brand-name products?
Allidonna: Sometimes more expensive or high end does not always mean better. There are always products in the drugstore you can find that are just as good. Don’t fall for the hype. It comes with experimenting which comes at a cost… but it is all part of the process of learning what works best for you. You can buy the most high end palettes but then your clients don’t look as sophisticated as the palette.
Dazzle: What is your vision for ‘Makeup with Alli’?
Allidonna: My ultimate goal is to have my own makeup studio and product line. In terms of growing the business, right now I am focused on exploring new avenues for advertising and promotion, rather than strictly using social media. I also plan to provide more in-depth, high-quality makeup tutorials via my YouTube channel, once I acquire the proper equipment. (You can always contact her for your private one-on-one tutorial).
Dazzle: Of all your beauty transformations, which is your most memorable?
Allidonna: There was this one client who wasn’t really into makeup and just wanted to try something different. She wanted to see how makeup would refresh not only her face but her life. When I was done and handed her the mirror, tears of shock and joy streamed down her face. She just never imagined that she could look how she looked with make up.
Dazzle: Where has this four-year long journey taken you?
Allidonna: I often reflect on how I started practicing on myself and then my cousin was crazy and brave enough to have me as the makeup artist for her big day. Now I’m having a real Drake moment (LOL). I’m now being hired for major pageants on island. I’ve had my own segment on Island Beats on the Visitor Channel called ‘Glam Tips’ I’ve been fortunate to work with artistes for performances and music videos. I’ve been featured in blogs and now magazines. I mean who would have thought I would have been featured in Dazzle?
We wish Alli all the best and look forward to seeing more of her amazing transformations!